The Whisperlights - Wake Up Dead EP
The Whisperlights - Wake Up Dead EP

The Whisperlights: Wake Up Dead EP

Album: Wake Up Dead EP

Basics: Phoenix's The Whisperlights are amongst the stable of indie rock bands currently making the rounds in Phoenix/Tempe -- Black Carl, What Laura Says, Dry River Yacht Club, and Gospel Claws. Many an opening slot has been reserved at those bands' shows for The 'Lights. 

Their Wake Up Dead EP is described as "a lush and driving set of songs about change, death, and romantic fatalism writ large. Characters strive and toil, or live in blissful ignorance, only to be annihilated." I'm one for cleverly written info/bio about bands, but for all the cheekiness, The Whisperlights back it up with their music.

Best Song: "Death" -- appropriately titled if you're taking the just-mentioned blurb into account -- best displays the Broken Social Scene influence that the band states with its wide, overarching sound. There's also a hint of Ra Ra Riot -- good, circa 2007 self-titled debut EP -- in there, if not for the violin then for the vocals as well. The track has that back-and-forth drum beat, kept going with the aforementioned violin. It's a grandiose offering, stuffed with ambition, that pays off nicely for all of the band's slick efforts.

Worst Song: There's not really a clunker in this seven-song bunch, but "Meowing" is perhaps the most offbeat, disjointed song on the EP. It's still rather enjoyable, but the chorus is oddly upbeat for the rest of the song's simplistically pounding beat -- there's a sing-along aspect to the chorus that hits the ear unexpectedly, at least at first. There's high ambition here, yet again, but the payoff isn't quite as gratifying as it is on tracks like "Death" and "The Storm."

Suggestions: The provided blurb about The Whisperlights mentions that the band "now divide their time between touring and finishing their upcoming full-length release Surfaces." The band's MySpace also shows upcoming gigs in Los Angeles, El Paso, and Austin. Keep that profile going, then, with all that touring and put those finishing touches on Surfaces. I, for one, can't wait to hear it.

Grade: A-

Bonus Video: Enjoy this footage of the band recording at Chalice Studios:

WHISPERLIGHTS at CHALICE from tytyonegoodeye on Vimeo.

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85034

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